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Dueling
Author: Kevin McAleer

ISBN: 9780691608419
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 2 March 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.5
Description:


The question of what it takes "to be a man" comes under scrutiny in this sharp, often playful, cultural critique of the German duel--the deadliest type of one-on-one combat in fin-de-siecle Europe. At a time when dueling was generally restricted to swords or had been abolished altogether in other nations, the custom of fighting to the death with pistols flourished among Germany's upper-class males, who took perverse comfort in defying their country's weakly enforced laws. From initial provocation to final death agony, Kevin McAleer describes with ironic humor the complex protocol of the German duel, inviting his reader into the disturbing mindset of its practitioners and the society that valued this socially important but ultimately absurd pastime. Through a narrative that cannot restrain itself from poking fun at the egos and prejudices that come to the fore in the pursuit of "manliness," McAleer offers both an entertaining and thought-provoking portrait of a cultural phenomenon that had far-reaching effects.

The author employs a wealth of anecdotes to re-create the dueling event in all its variety, from the level of insult--which could rang...

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